The best defenceman in Canucks history, somehow, wasn’t named the best NHL rookie this season.
Yes, the Calder Trophy votes are in and predictably, Colorado Avalanche defenceman Cale Makar won the award over Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes. Makar had 116 first place votes, while Hughes had 53. New York Rangers defenceman Adam Fox was the one other player to receive a first place vote. Who let a delusional Rangers fan vote anyways?
Regardless of who won, Makar and Hughes both turned the NHL upside down this season with their standout performances from the back-end. Both defenceman aren’t big, but they are incredibly quick and agile playmakers who have morphed into dangerous offensive weapons at the NHL level.
Makar had the better points-per-game total, which likely strengthened his Calder case. He also played with the runner-up for the Hart Trophy in Nathan Mackinnon for most of the season as well.
While Makar played on a stacked team, Hughes was often the only Canucks defenceman worth watching most nights. Whether he was the better rookie was, I suppose, up for debate, but there’s almost no doubt that he was more valuable to the Canucks compared to Makar’s impact in Colorado.
Setting and smashing records throughout the regular season and playoffs, Quinn Hughes had a rookie season that will not soon be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/fCz06cAd2l— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) September 21, 2020
With the rest of the NHL awards being announced Monday, we learned that three Canucks players (Elias Pettersson, Jacob Markstrom and J.T. Miller) received Hart Trophy votes. All three players finished in the top-17 for MVP voting.
We also learned that Markstrom finished fourth in Vezina voting, while Jim Benning finished sixth in votes for GM of the year.
Here’s a full recap of all the Canuck implications during the NHL Awards. [Daily Hive]
Bruins, Canucks talking trade?
This report comes from long-time Bruins reporter Jimmy Murphy, who now writes for Boston Hockey Now.
The report mentions two Canucks players. The first, unsurprisingly, is Brock Boeser, after trade rumours were perpetuated regarding the winger on the eve of the Canucks summer camp. Murphy then goes onto suggest that the Canucks would likely target Charlie McEvoy in a Boeser trade, but says his sources confirm McEvoy “is a non-starter” for trade talks.
The next Canuck to be mentioned is Jake Virtanen. Of course, Virtanen fits the Bruins mold of a big-bodied winger who can score. The Bruins also just traded for another big bodied winger from the 2014 draft when they acquired Nick Ritchie from Anaheim at the trade deadline.
If Virtanen were to be traded to Boston, the report mentions 23-year-old right-shot defenceman Brandon Carlo as the target.
I’m not sure why Murphy likes bringing up talented young defenceman in trade talks so much, but he does go on to report that his sources indicate that Carlo has been mentioned in trade talks. It would take more than just Virtanen to pry Carlo out of Boston, but the young Bruins defenceman would be a welcome addition to a floundering Canucks blueline.
Carlo has one more year on his deal, which comes at a reasonable $2.8 million dollar cap hit.